You've made the decision to not only draw in customers but to also retain them through regular communications.

How are you going to do that?

By sending a monthly newsletter to your customers.

Keeping in touch with them (without bombarding them), sending them great information and offers appeals to you because you know it means they are more likely to come back to you when they're in the market for your products or services.

You start off brilliantly, and the first two issues practically write themselves, but then something happens.

Every month you're left scratching your head as your ideas dry up.

Every newsletter starts to morph into the previous one. Your open and click-through rate is dropping. Hell, you're even boring yourself when you write them.

What's gone wrong? More to the point, what are you going to do about it?

You could give up – it was a stupid idea anyway.

Or, you could have the courage of your convictions, carry on, but start thinking strategically.

Where do newsletter ideas come from?

This is how I do it.

I have a particular client I write a regular newsletter for.

It's a bi-monthly production, and usually, I contact him with an idea for the lead story, and then we work together to add in the rest of the information, such as offers, etc.

So where do I get my ideas from?

My first stop is his website and blog. What have they been talking about? Once I find a suitable topic I do a bit more research to expand it and make it directly relevant to his audience.

What if there are no ideas?

Then I get on the phone, and we have a chat about something been happening in the business over the past month. You'd be amazed how many content ideas that can generate.

You see, your newsletter themes don't have to be about what's happening right now in your business, they can be about wider issues. Perhaps a customer asked you a question? If they were interested in that topic, perhaps other customers are too.

Look at what's happening in your industry – new technologies that can be commented on, news stories that you can elaborate on, or events.

There are ideas everywhere; you just have to know where to look.

Read around. Listen to your customers. Talk to other staff members. All of these will generate ideas for future newsletters.